USA Today: SFO terminal reopens after oxygen bottles cause scare

Discussion in 'Aviation Passenger Security in the USA' started by Mike, Feb 25, 2012.

  1. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Part of a terminal was evacuated at SFO & 1200 passengers were delayed because of two oxygen bottles in luggage belonging to an elderly woman in a wheelchair ...

    USA Today: SFO terminal reopens after oxygen bottles cause scare

    Keep it up, TSA! If at first you don't succeed, fail, fail again.
    KrazyKat and Lisa Simeone like this.
  2. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Adding this to the Master List. That makes twice at Newark in February, once at LAX in January, at JFK just the other day, and now this.

    Minor, inconsequential security "breach" and they close down an entire terminal. Again and again and again. Unbelievable.
  3. RB

    RB Founding Member

    How hard is it to look at a green pressure bottle and figure out it might just oxygen? Must be above the skill level of TSA Screeners.
    KrazyKat likes this.
  4. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Apparently the TSA screener was too stupid to recognize an O2 bottle.

    Had someone with a modicum of intelligence attempted to ask her what she was using it for they would have quickly determined what it was. Just because she didn't pack it doesn't make it a WMD.

    Idiots, what can you say.
    KrazyKat and Lisa Simeone like this.
  5. KrazyKat

    KrazyKat Original Member

    Several hours later...
    I hope she had assistance with this, presuming her original flight was long gone by that time. Morons.
  6. Louis Betti

    Louis Betti Original Member

    The reality is, medical O2 bottles on a plane are a HUGE no-no, unless they are used as part of an FAA approved set-up, say on an air ambulance. I'm not kidding either. Forget about installed, certified O2 systems that may be on planes, this is different. I have an O2 system on my plane, but it's not the same as just taking medical O2 on board. There's a whole host of Federal Aviation Regulations concerning the transport and use of O2 on planes. This stuff can be deadly if something goes wrong. Those bottles are usually pressurized to around 1800+ PSI.

    I recently read a lengthy article in Business & Commercial Aviation magazine about what can and HAS gone wrong with O2 in aircraft, and I'm not talking the Value jet crash either, as those were oxygen generators, not bottles. Have a very healthy respect for pressurized O2 cylinders. It's nasty stuff when things go wrong. Remember, the air we breath is only 21% O2, and while the pure stuff will surely wake you up, it can kill you just as fast.

    I recall an episode of "Airline", where an elderly woman was denied boarding if she had to take her oxygen with her. They were right to do such.

    Yes, likely some overreaction on the part of authorities, but those bottles could pose a severe danger to the aircraft and passengers, and they should have never been allowed on board the aircraft! I hope the FAA has a look at this incident.

    Sorry if this was not the response you all expected.
  7. RB

    RB Founding Member

    Don't disagree with the above but there was no reason to shut down a TSA Checkpoint over O2 bottles.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  8. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    I suspect the woman, her family and/or caretaker misunderstood the current regs. Airlines no longer provide oxygen on request. Passengers who need oxygen for medical reasons must bring their own supply or lease one, but it has to come from an FAA approved oxygen concentrator, not from those familiar (and much cheaper) green O2 bottles.
  9. Frank

    Frank Original Member

    Which shouldn't be much of an issue these days. Every portable oxygen concentrator I've seen so far has an air travel headstamp.
  10. FaustsAccountant

    FaustsAccountant Original Member

    Look at who you're expecting to know and facilitate this information.
    (Somehow I don't O2 is covered in the 3 classroom courses degree.)
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  11. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    I thought covenant/ Team SFO was better then that but guess not. Its not that hard to tell, but then again TSA proves everyday how worthless, incompetant and stupid they are.

    Slightly OT, but for everyones information. I deal with 02 cylinders at work on a daily basis and in the diving I do; if the avatar wasnt a dead give away. 02 Cylinders for medical use are well marked with giant letters that say OXYGEN, green bands at the top (for smaller tanks) or the whole tank is green (For larger) and additional labels from the supplier with lot/batch number, grade, purity, expiration date, last visual inspection date, hydrostatic test and so on.

    Now dive cylinders are different story as the markings are up to the user. At min there is a visual inspection sticker (w/ oxygen service notice), and gas contents label (with pressure and % in tank). For my tanks that have anything in them other then air (21% oxygen 79% Nitrogen), or that will be partial pressure blended (transferring pure oxygen into the tank then adding air or helium to get the desired gas blend). These tanks/cylinders will be oxygen cleaned to remove any contaminates or materials that could cause a fire or burn. Each tank that is dedicated to a certain gas mix and labelled as such for its MOD (Maximum Operating Depth) it can be safely breathed at in 3-4" numbers/letters. For example Oxygen's MOD is 6m/20ft, 50% is 21m/70ft (the percent equals the oxygen content in the gas.) Opposite side of the tank is the Visual inspection sticker (this is done once a year, hydrostatic testing every 5 years). My initals are on the bottom of the tank, and at the neck has a mix content/pressure sticker/tape. I treat pressurized cylinders with great care as a exploding tank or a tank falling over and the valve snapping off makes for a bad day and destruction.

    If i can find pictures of my scuba tanks set up plus my medical o2 kit i will post them as examples.

    Louis - just a FYI/IMHO but it i picked up a 02 cylinder from the gas supplier that only had 1800 psi in it, i wouldnt sign off on the delivery as thats a bad/low fill. Its supposed to be filled to 2200 psi. Now for diving (technical / decompression/ rebreather) i will boost it to 3K but thats a different. As for the FAA regs i know what you mean thats a mess I dont even want go there.

    FWIW, and my .02
  12. Sunny Goth

    Sunny Goth Original Member Coach

    I used to go through SFO all the time and Covenant is not much better than the TSA, imo. They yell at you with bullhorns, and all the other TSA nonsense.
  13. Mike

    Mike Founding Member Coach

    Things like that happen when you follow TSA SOP:

  14. TravelnMedic

    TravelnMedic Original Member

    Oh no sir i would be telling that smurf to STFU in short order. Unprofessional and uncalled for...same goes for the barking smurfs as well.
  15. Fisher1949

    Fisher1949 Original Member Coach

    Covenant at EYW was no better than TSA and maybe worse. They have to follow SOP to the letter since they can be fired more easily. This results in less discretion and more groping.
    Lisa Simeone likes this.
  16. Lisa Simeone

    Lisa Simeone Original Member

    Well, there you have it, yet again -- hiring private contractors isn't going to make a damn bit of difference if they're just going to mimic the TSA.
  17. Louis Betti

    Louis Betti Original Member

    As I said above, no doubt an over reaction, which is usually the case with TSA. As to O2 cylinders, yes 2200 PSI is more like it. I have four, smaller O2 cylinders right above my head in the cockpit, above the headliner, all tied together. The pressure gauge on the overhead panel , when all are filled stops at about 1800 PSI. Every five years we have to pull the bottles for a hydrostatic inspection. The last one cost $$$$. When I take flights where we will be going to an altitude where I will need to use the masks (we don't have a pressurized plane) women cannot wear make up or lipstick. I don't have time to determine what is in the stuff, but any "oils" will react with O2 and burn!

    Whether the TSA or private contractors, you're not bringing O2 cylinders on a plane unless the FAA approves of it.

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